Groundings divert customs’ attention

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When airports closed all over Norway in recent days, customs officials were able to beef up border patrols at the borders themselves.

Customs inspectors normally assigned to airports have fanned out to main border crossings into Norway, not least those from Sweden into southern Norway. 

On Sunday evening, passengers on board a packed train from Gothenburg to Oslo were subjected to unusual inspections aimed at stopping the flow of narcotics into Norway. Specially trained dogs sniffed luggage and parcels throughout the train, while customs inspectors questioned travelers.

“As long as there aren’t as many people landing at the airports, we’ve moved our officers to where traffic is heavy,” Paul Ask of the customs service for Oslo and Akershus told newspaper Dagsavisen.

Ask said the Oslo customs district has turned its attention to the ferries, buses and trains coming into Norway. “It may be that smugglers who normally use the airlines are taking a break right now,” Ask told Dagsavisen. “Others are using the trains, the bus or the ferries.”

Large quantities of drugs have been seized at the main border crossing into Norway at Svinesund. In February, for example, customers inspectors seized 20 kilos of heroin hidden in a car with German license plates.

Views and News staff